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Friday, July 22, 2022
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Monday, July 18, 2022
It's nearly the end of day 3 in Cushing, Maine, and among the observations I have is that directions anywhere around here usually involve taking three consecutive left (or right) turns. Just play that one out in your head for a moment. Anyway, the roads in these parts are narrow and winding around corners in ways that make the faint of driving heart nervous, at the very least. Fortunately for me, my driving is always during the day, and my Silverado maneuvers well in spite of its large size.
Another observation is courtesy of my younger stepson, who has noticed that many of the people he sees in Maine are of a short, stout physical disposition. After two trips to WallyWorld, and well, I have at least some observations to back up his point. No doubt this attribute serves them well in the harsh Springs, Autumns, and Winters.
To that last point, I actually did some checking, and it turns out that the average month-by-month temperatures in Cushing, Maine, are not all that dissimilar to that of, for example, Scranton, PA. So much for that theory. Maybe it's more about a diet high in potatoes and blueberries (with the former seeming to me to be what would grow in these parts...the latter is a given). In any event, while stocky in stature, the folks here are also pretty friendly, even to outsiders careening down their winding roads in Silverados.
All other points aside, this place is very much Maine, with all that entails. This is an old place, and it's hard not to be impacted in some way by what you see.
Saturday, July 16, 2022
Starting yesterday, and continuing through the end of next week, it's officially vacation time. As in a real, multi-day, have to travel somewhere and interact with other humans vacation. The specifics of this particular vacation center around my in-law's 61st wedding anniversary, and involve Ms. Rivers's family gathering in Maine, as that is where the senior Mr. & Mrs. Rivers had their honeymoon, many moons ago. This was a trip that was postponed from a prior year (a 60th wedding anniversary trip seems to make a bit more sense, don't you think?), mostly on account of the 'rona*, which was a reasonable thing to do, all things considered.
This is, by the way, my third trip to Maine over the years. One of the wonderful things about being married to Ms. Rivers is that, sans her involvement, I am reasonably sure I would never have gone to Maine in my lifetime, That prior statement only makes sense if, for example, you've actually been to Maine.
As I've written here before, I consider Maine to be a different kind of place. The coastline is nothing short of awe-inspiringly beautiful, but over and above that, there's just something uniquely Maine-ly about Maine. It's as if there's a different set of mental rules here...a different reality of sorts...that you can only understand if you've actually spent time in Maine. It's a feeling that is pretty hard to put into words, and pictures only do it a kind of somewhat justice. Speaking of pictures, there will be many over the next few days. I may even plug some into a posting or three.
I know that's standard fare to say things like "I really need this vacation" when you are writing about vacation, and while I like to pride myself on the fact that I am reasonably good at writing things down, the reality is that I really do think I need this time off. There has been just so very, very much that has been fundamentally changing. By that, I mean changes in the world, so many career changes for me over the past two years, changes in health, et al. Through it all I have been doing what I think I do best: Plowing through. Yet, I suspect that even the best actual farm plow gets dull after too much usage and needs some kind of sharpening. For me? See Maine, above.
I'm not hoping for any miracles, by the way. My hobbled right big toe will, for example, be as painful the week after next as it is now. In fact, I'm not hoping for anything.
I've learned that hope is pretty much a useless kind of thing when viewed just by itself. Where it has any real value in our lives is when it's coupled with some action. See Maine, above.
So, what does all of this really, truly mean? Well, seeing as though I started writing this at 6:02am in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (and it's now 6:33am), I'm not sure I can say. As much as I haven't been writing much lately, sometimes the words just come out on their own without any real effort from me. That's the case now. This post is basically just writing itself; I'm just here to edit.
On that note, it's time to move on to other things. There will be more to come.
(*) COVID-19 for the more sophisticated types out there.